LSU women’s basketball head coach Nikki Caldwell is serving as an assistant coach for the USA Basketball U19 team that will compete for a gold medal at the 2013 FIBA World Championships in Lithuania, July 18-28. Caldwell will be writing a blog for LSUsports.net chronicling her journey.
Caldwell, who was an assistant coach on the FIBA Americas gold medal U18 team last summer, begins her third season at LSU this fall after guiding the Lady Tigers to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008.
New season ticket deposits for the 2013-14 LSU women’s basketball season are now available online at www.LSUtix.net for a special price of $16 to celebrate the Lady Tigers’ 2013 Sweet 16 season.
Caldwell and the Americans will compete in a pre-tournament competition in the Canary Islands before beginning preliminary round pool play at the FIBA World Championships on Thursday, July 18 against host Lithuania.
Read her blog entries below:
Sunday, July 14
Another impressive performance by our team today. This was going to be a challenge with less than a 12-hour turn around. We met this morning for pregame breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by Film and scouting then off to the gym. Again, the starters got us off to a great start as we controlled the game in the first half. Our bench continued to be solid and help expand our lead. A very resilient Canadian team played us tough in the second half. What a great pre-tournament with great competition here in Lazarote. This will only help us in Lithuania.
We are heading back to the hotel and the girls will have a little free time to enjoy some sun and fun excursions. Tonight we will catch a late flight to Madrid as we make our way to Lithuania.
Great job Team USA!
Friday, July 12
Game day versus Australia. Today we showed a lot of toughness against a very talented Australian team. We received contributions from different players at critical times. A rebound, a steal to a lay-up, an assist for a spot up three -- these plays were huge for us.
We've been waiting to play since July 1st, and we were pleased to see a team work through their rough patches. With each game, we will get better. Starters will get us off to a great start, but our depth will be the key.
Being a part of USA Basketball is such a great experience. The coaches stayed to scout our next two opponents, Spain and Canada. It was a hard fought game by two disciplined teams. Canada came out the victor. Now I'm on the bus riding back with Canada and Spain. I'm sitting with one of the players on Spain's team. I did not try to speak Spanish. But if I had WiFi on the bus, I would have used Google translate. She and I would have had an interesting conversation with my accent.
Tomorrow we play Spain, let's have a great game!
Thursday, July 11
Today has been a long travel day for the team and the staff but our spirits our high. We departed the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs 26 hours ago, connected through Newark, and flew through the night to Madrid, Spain. We've had ample enough time to explore Madrid's airport with a six-hour layover.
The staff was in search for a spa, so we followed the signage to gate M. In hopes of relaxing a little bit, little did we know our muscles would remain tight. The spa was located in an area under construction.
So what does one do with their time and limited communication back home? You eat and then find somewhere to sleep. Whoever invented the travel pillow is an absolute genius. Oh yes, you also Skype with the family. I'm missing them indeed. Justice is kind of understanding Skype, she's only 16 months old though. When I had to say bye, she started to cry. :-(.
One more hour and we take off for Lanzarote. I'm looking forward to our stay in the Canary Islands. I hear it’s beautiful, but we will have little time to take in the sights. Our sight is on the gold medal. We will prep for competition as we compete against Australia, Spain and Canada. Go team USA!